How to Treat Muscle Strains and Tears: Info About Physical Rehabilitation in Napa County, CA

April 18, 2018 4:54 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Muscle injuries are quite common, particularly among people who regularly work out. They typically arise from people trying to push it too hard in their training, or not properly warming up the muscle before exercising it. These injuries can range in severity from minor strains to complete tears, but the strains themselves are far more common.

Here’s some information about how you can treat some of the most common minor muscle injuries through physical rehabilitation in Napa County, CA:

  • Rest the muscle: For minor muscle injuries, you typically won’t need to seek medical attention. Instead, your first step should simply be to give the muscle a rest. Do not exercise until you’re able to work the muscle without feeling any pain. Usually this will be a maximum of a couple weeks—any pain beyond that point and you probably need to make a doctor’s appointment. Keep in mind that you should still be able to engage in your everyday activities. If you cannot go about your normal routine, the injury is probably more severe and will then require medical attention.
  • Ice the muscle: Apply cold packs, ice packs or bags of frozen vegetables to the muscle. Wrap any pack you use in a cloth or a thin towel before using it, and apply it for 15 to 20 minutes every two hours or so the first couple days after you first injure the muscle. The ice helps decrease internal bleeding, inflammation, swelling and pain.
  • Compress the muscle: In the first two or three days after the injury occurs, you can also wrap the injured muscle with an Ace bandage. The bandage should be snug, but not too tight—you should still be able to slide two fingers between your skin and the wrap. If you experience decreased circulation or numbness, you should loosen or remove the wrap. When wrapping, begin at the furthest point from your heart, then move the wrapping toward your body. So, for a quadriceps injury, for example, you’d start by wrapping down closer to the knee, then work your way up the thigh.
  • Elevate the muscle: If the injury was to one of your limbs, you should regularly elevate that limb above your heart to keep swelling down. The easiest way to do this is to lie down and prop the injured limb up on some pillows. But if you can’t get the body part above your heart, you should at least try your best to keep it parallel to the ground.
  • Avoid anything that could prevent recovery: Within the first three days after tearing the muscle, avoid using heating paths or hot showers, do not drink alcohol (this could increase interior swelling and bleeding), avoid running or other strenuous activities and do not attempt to massage the injured area.

For more tips about how you can treat some of the more minor muscle strains and injuries, contact our team specializing in physical rehabilitation in Napa County, CA at Focus Forward Wellness & Physical Therapy.

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